It's always a great time to examine what's going on with yourself. If you love everything you see, then you're probably not looking hard enough.
I'm not being flip.
Self-realization isn't for the faint of heart.
Being honest with ourselves and others is hard work.
But do you know what makes it even harder?
Mistaking someone else's voice, thoughts, actions, beliefs, or opinions for your own.
What do I mean?
There are a million ways the world tells us who we should be before we are old enough to define ourselves.
If we don't shed these unhelpful messages, we carry these limiting beliefs around with us for the rest of our lives.
For example, photoshopped images featuring anorexic models give us an unrealistic "standard" for beauty. Movies where people meet cute, break up, and then get married prime us to desire unnatural relationships. Centuries of white male-gaze-centered art, religion, history, literature, and music conditions us to deemphasize the cultural importance and contributions of marginalized communities and peoples who aren't in the cultural, racial, gender-identifying, heteronormative, or religious majority.
If we consume messages of what is 'normal' and 'good' and 'the way things should be' without critiquing them, they become part of our story.
In addition to these external messages, we also internalize helpful or hurtful comments from our families, teachers, friends, co-workers, and loved ones.
When we mistake these messages as facts rather than opinions, they become limitations that stunt our personal growth and potential.
How do you undo this programming?
Examine your thoughts:
- Ask yourself: where did this thought come from? Is this mine? Or does it belong to someone else?
- Is it helpful or is it holding me back?
If it doesn't serve where you are now or where you want to go, then it's time to release it.
That's your challenge.
Stop holding onto ideas that aren't yours. Let them go and make room to become more like yourself than you've ever been.
Let me know how it goes by connecting with me on social @trulykristi!
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